RAW Thoughts

We are coming off the heels of a very mediocre Night of Champions event and we have new Intercontinental, Diva, and United States champions. With the return of “Demon Kane” and the severe injury to Sting, where will WWE go storyline-wise? There’s only one way to find out!!

Wyatt Family– The fireflies are in full force tonight as The Wyatt Family makes their way to the ring. Just as Bray Wyatt was delivering a pretty solid promo, out came Roman Reigns to interrupt him. Reigns proceeded to goad Wyatt into a one-on-one “fight” by telling Wyatt that he was afraid to take him on. It didn’t take long for Braun Strowman and Luke Harper interfered. This brought out Dean Ambrose for the save.

Dean Ambrose vs Braun StrowmanOf course, Strowman was too much for the babyfaces to handle, so the 3-on-2 fight wasn’t turning out very well for Reigns and Ambrose. I thought back to the territory days of Memphis and Georgia and thought that this beat down would have resulted in a major blade job. Anyhoo…just when things looked bleak for our heroes…

Randy Orton made his return to the ring! The battle went on for a couple of minutes before the Wyatts were knocked out of the ring and the music of Reigns played to signal a triumph for the babyfaces.

– Backstage, Seth Rollins is looking for The Authority so they can come up with a plan to take care of Demon Kane. Of course, inside Triple H’s office is “Corporate Kane“…

…who is happy to see Rollins and is glad to give Rollins a rematch for the United States title against John Cena tonight on RAW. Strange…I don’t know if they’re going with two Kane roles as him being legitimately insane or just playing Rollins for a fool. I guess we’ll find out in time.

Neville & the Lucha DragonsThe Cosmic Wasteland 2– Out came the Cosmic Wasteland of Stardust and The Ascension to take on Neville and the Lucha Dragons in a rematch of last night’s Kickoff Show. The match itself was okay, but the last couple of minutes after Neville’s hot tag to Kalisto was pretty awesome. In the end, Kalisto pinned one of The Ascension for his team’s win. Give him another couple of years and he really could be Rey Mysterio 2.0 for the company. Great talent in that guy.

– Backstage, Rollins finds Triple H and Stephanie McMahon and tells them what’s going on with Kane and his rematch with Cena tonight. They tell him to just worry about regaining the United States title from Cena and they’ll take care of Kane. As the camera fades, we’re given the distinct impression that The Authority have no idea what’s going on with Kane. Interesting…

Ryback vs DallasRyback is out and ready to get back on a winning streak. I just love how they are trying to promote the fact that a RAKE OF THE EYES CAUSED RYBACK TO BE PINNED!! I’ve been watching wrestling for over 30 years and I’ve gotta say, I have NEVER seen an eye rake cause a pinfall. I mean…what the actual fuck, WWE?? How lazy have you gotten??

Well…I don’t remember it ever happening in the last 20 years. And yes, the announcers mentioned JBL‘s Intercontinental title victory over CM Punk, but take a look at this video first (around the 8:20 mark).

The eye rake led to a Clothesline From Hell which led to the pinfall. Last night, Owens raked Ryback’s eyes and immediately pinned him. BIG difference.

Bye bye BoUnfortunately, Bo Dallas is the one being fed to Ryback. Fortunately, Kevin Owens comes out to show off his new title and join the men on commentary. Dallas proceeds to congratulate Owens while disrespecting Ryback. It’s a damn shame, really…Dallas is so talented that I just don’t understand why WWE Creative can’t do something with him. He can wrestle, he can promo, and he’s got a gimmick that can be expanded upon in a variety of ways.

As you’d expect, Ryback won quickly. Owens tried to attack him after the bell but Ryback fought him off. Thus we end the segment with the promise of an eventual rematch (ugh).

Diva celebration

Ric FlairRic Flair makes his way down to the ring to help celebrate his daughter’s emotional winning of the Divas championship last night. He said that the proudest moment of his entire wrestling career was when “his little girl” won the Divas championship. Out came Team PCB to a pretty decent ovation.

Charlotte said that if she can make Ric half as proud of her as she is of him, then her life is complete. Flair was crying because he was so proud of her, watching her blossom as Divas champion. It’s something else to see the crossover between storyline and real life. Team PCB & Ric Flair

Of course, the expected heel turn by Paige took place when she grabbed the microphone. She went out and proceeded to tear down the Divas Revolution and gave her own little shoot promo. As she walked off, the crowd was split between cheers and indifference.

This tweet was interesting, too…

Out came Team Bella to a large cheer from the girls in the audience. Jesus…one week after people defended her as being the “lead heel” in the women’s division, she proceeded to give a Cena-esque babyface promo. I just don’t understand WWE Creative booking. They’ve botched this entire “Revolution” to the point that they had to implode it on RAW only a couple of months after it began.

Ugh.

Brie Bella vs CharlotteThankfully, we’re about to get a Charlotte vs Brie Bella match, so it shouldn’t be too bad. What’s odd is that Charlotte acts like a cocky heel, which is supposed to come across as a bad-ass babyface…and because her character and gimmick haven’t really been developed enough, the audience isn’t sure how to feel about her.

Figure 8The match itself was fine, with Brie going after the injured leg of Charlotte to a smattering of cheers. In the end, Charlotte won in a “gutsy win” with the Figure 8. Team Bella didn’t try to interfere or anything, thus not doing anything “heelish”. I just don’t understand the booking of the Divas and haven’t since the Revolution was launched. You’d think it was The Invasion angle all over again.

Sheamus vs Mark Henry– “Mr. Money in the Bank” Sheamus is ready to take on “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry. It took less than five minutes for Henry to eat a Brogue Kick and get pinned. I never thought Henry would end up becoming enhancement talent at this stage in his career. He’s earned more than that.

– Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie meet up with Corporate Kane and proceed to tell him that they understand that he wants to play mind games with Seth Rollins. While they hadn’t heard from him since he had his leg broken by Brock Lesnar, they are willing to start over again…as long as he gives them his mask. He denies knowing where it is but promises to look for it. It’s quite the odd storyline…

– Backstage, Paige meets up with Natalya and we find out that she still works for WWE and even has a match with Naomi later tonight. She then tells Paige that the only person standing in her way is her.

New Day & Rusev vs Dudley Boyz & Dolph ZigglerTHE NEW DAY is here!!! So weird…they’re heels yet the cameras love picking up people in the audience clapping for them. Because Xavier Woods had a big piece of wood stuck up his ass last night after being put through a table, Rusev is teaming with New Day in taking on the Dudley Boyz and Dolph Ziggler (who is looking more and more like a new-age Heartbreak Kid).

The match was pretty entertaining. Hell…I’d dare say it was better than either one of their respective matches from last night.

At one point, Woods was playing Rusev’s theme song on the trombone. Unbelievably entertaining.

While Rusev was pummeling Ziggler, he began to scream at him. He said, “LANA IS MINE!!!” and the seeds have been planted for the eventual re-teaming of Lana and Rusev (hopefully). It’s all very interesting.

The end came when Woods tried to distract Ziggler, who proceeded to superkick him in the face off the ring apron. As soon as he turned around, though, he ate a superkick by Rusev and the heels picked up the win.

NatalyaNaomi vs NatalyaTeam B.A.D. came out and Naomi was ready to take on Natalya. Let’s face it, Natalya started the Divas Revolution by being the first woman to really know how to wrestle during a time when all other Divas were barely-trained models. In this match, I don’t know if I ever saw Naomi look as good as she did tonight…so what does that tell you?

#ThankYouNatalya

Of course, distractions by Sasha Banks and Tamina meant that Naomi ended up winning…so what does this mean for Natalya? Who the hell knows…I’m starting to become disenchanted with the whole thing.

Big Show vs Cesaro 1Big Show and Cesaro are ready to lock up. This, apparently, is retribution for Big Show punching out Cesaro a couple of weeks ago. Maybe to make up for being decimated by Sting last week, Show completely dominated Cesaro for the first few minutes of the match. Cesaro then made his comeback with a dozen different European uppercuts and, incredibly, a vertical suplex.

In a strange twist, though, Big Show was able to get up first and hit a Knockout Punch for the pinfall. I mean…this was primarily a squash match. I thought Cesaro was gaining momentum? What the hell happened?

Cena vs RollinsCena vs Rollins 1– It’s main event time as John Cena takes on Seth Rollins. I’ll tell you…Cena has been on fire all year long, but his matches with Rollins remind me of the classic matches between Edge and the Undertaker. The more they wrestled, the more Edge learned and got better in the matches…thus the more even things got. I’m finding the same thing. The last two matches between Cena and Rollins has seen a fired-up Rollins, who has put on incredible showcases of in-ring skills in an effort to prove to the entire world that he’s the best in the world right now.

Cena vs Rollins 2As expected, these two put on another great match. The story was that both of them were pretty beaten up from the night before, though more-so for Rollins since Cena acted like a total heel and gave Rollins an AA on the floor once their match was completely over (which Michael Cole actually tried to JUSTIFY). To me, these matches rival Cena’s classic matches against CM Punk as being some of the best of his career.

The end came when Rollins hit a frog splash off the top that Cena no-sold, rolled through the pinning attempt, and then hit the AA for the finish. FFS…I hate “Super Cena”.

Corporate Kane then appeared on the Titan Tron and spoke to Rollins about challengers appearing for his WWE World title. Demon Kane then came up from underneath the ring and pulled Rollins down with him. Smoke billowed up through the hole in the ring as the show ended.

Seriously.

**********

This was a pretty good episode of RAW that was better than last week’s episode and even better than last night’s PPV. Storylines progressed and the matches were pretty good overall. Sure, there are still some really puzzling creative decisions, but that shouldn’t be surprising at this point.

But what did YOU think?

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